Why Fall Protection Fails

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1. Failure to Identify Other Means of Protection Versus the Use of a Fall Arrest System

Employees are much safer when the option of the safe elimination of the fall hazard is utilized. Consider using guardrails, scaffolding, or restraint systems before using a personal fall arrest system.

2. Failure to Identify a Proper Anchorage Connector

No matter how well built the harness and lanyards are, if the anchor is not strong enough, the system will not work as designed. Always make sure your anchorage connector is of adequate strength and meets 5,000 lbs or as directed by a "Qualified Person". Always look for an anchorage connector overhead when possible and avoid swing falls. A swing fall can be just as deadly as falling and hitting the ground or an object below.

3. Failure to Instruct and Train Personnel

You must make sure to properly train your employees as to the fall hazards of a given jobsite and or work task being performed. Many employers fail to consider the actual training on the use of the equipment being used. Don't make the mistake of assuming the worker knows how to use and or even read the instructions that accompany the product. Train, train, and then retrain.

4. Failure to Remove Unsafe or Outdated Equipment

There are specific regulations and manufacture guidelines to follow in the proper inspection, use, and maintenance of your fall protection equipment. A rule of thumb in terms of the life of the fall protection equipment is that the product expires 5 years from date of first use. Follow manufacturers' guidelines as to the proper inspection criteria to be followed.

5. Failure to Use Product as Described by the Manufacturer

The equipment is only as good as it is used and often the simple fitting of a harness is done improperly. Take the time to adjust the harness for the correct fit. Make sure that you are using the right equipment for the given job and the hazards associated with the work. When you have limited clearance of a lower surface, a retractable might be needed versus a standard 6 ft. shock absorbing lanyard.

6. Failure to Plan

It is imperative in our litigious society that you properly document your fall protection plan and make it specific for a particular job. Failure to properly plan and document that plan can cause a huge amount of problems down the road.

7. Assumptions

Make no assumptions about what the plan is to protect your workers, the maintenance of your equipment, identification of the proper anchor point, or the knowledge of your employees. Falling at a rate of 32 ft per second squared, you will have no time to go back and fix what went wrong.

* C. H. Bull Co. assumes no liability as to the information contained in this website. You are responsible to check the policies of your company and refer to state and federal regulations pertaining to the proper use of fall protection equipment.